On around the lake we pull into La Fortuna, Costa Rica, aka Fortuna. We are wanting to camp and we first stopped into a hostel that had camping, and it was full.. Hmm for camping? We went to another and it was full.. for camping? Ok, then we try the hostels for dorm rooms.. FULL.. and another hostel FULL FULL FULL.. gee whiz! Then we venture farther out of town and I spot the Eco Lodge (which usually means expensive)
While I was reading the sign and looking at the condition of the rough dirt track, a young guy in the restaurant knows the owner and decided to save us riding back there to see if any space.. for camping. The nice man on the end of the line said “not really”, but come on back we can find something for you.
I was concerned about that because it’s a fairly washed out road, lots of rocks and crevases and mud. I was okay with it, but Kevin’s bike is a Buell, very low clearance and very smooth street tires.
He said yes, so we went up and down the hilly rough track. Kevin was slow and careful. I have learned that going slower on my type of bike is harder than fast on that bad of surface, so I watch him for a while. When I can tell he’s cool, I took off and got to the place early. Long story short.. very swampy camping ledge on the side of a mountain, no other clear spaces and lots and lots of giant ants, masses of them all over the site. It was going to be a very uncomfortable night. We decided not to give up and went right back down the scary track to the main road again.
We took a side road and I stopped the bike and talked to Kevin. I said I was willing to pay whoever owns this place to camp along their creek. We gave it a go. The American owner was fantastic and said we are more than happy to camp there, but he has little cabins and wondered if we were interested. He told us the price, it was super cheap hostel rates.
We had a look and couldn’t believe it. Why are these super clean nice cabins available cheap when everything else is overly full and expensive!? It turned out to be a Christian Camp. They weren’t really open yet, but were expecting a retreat group to come in a couple days. In the meantime we… scored!!!!!!
I am loving the supersize Jurassic Park style plants here. There was not one other guest here.. just us. The sound of the rushing water from that creek, butterflies, exotic plants, colorful birds.. amazing.
When I unpacked I went to the bathroom and inside on the wall, it explains more about the Christian camp and had a rule.. “Foul language would not be tolerated.” Crap! We’ve gotta move now!!! (If you know Scottish Kev, the F word does come out a wee bit often.. 😉
We didn’t move. We’d met a guy in town who suggested to check out the big spa. More than just a spa, it’s a huge group of hot thermal pools, ranging in temperatures from warm to super hot! Sounds good!! http://baldicostarica.com/springs/
Kevin and I went at night, so I borrowed the daytime photo below to have a look from http://scorpyorising.blogspot.com/2010/09/costa-rica-hot-springs.html.. thank you!
There are so many thermal pools in the forest. We were worried when we walked in as it seemed a bit ‘disneyland-ish’. There were kids running around everywhere in the lower pools near the restaurant. But the place is so big, that once you are on the paths exploring the pools, there was usually only a few people in each one. And there was very little lighting. Maybe that was to keep the kids out after dark. Sometimes they were deep, sometimes shallow.
We went to every single pool, tested each one.. There was a bar in one pool, so we sat in the water and had a very overly priced ‘stick it to the tourists’ drink. Plus went down a tall twisty slide into another pool. That was THE fastest slide that was so dark inside.. black. I hit a bump and I was airborn and then came crashing into the springs below.. So fun!
We walked the unlit paths barefoot. There was nobody and it was actually so dark and a bit scarey. But we came across one pool that said “closed”. This one was reserved for special massage/yoga clients of the resort. We are as bad as each other and decide “we’re special!” so we walk in anyway. Climb the stairs into a super pretty round elevated hot spring pool. Really cool, we are in these gorgeous hot springs in the jungle of Costa Rica and nobody around. I love my life…
Until!! We got busted! We were quiet, so there must be a camera somewhere. Luckily the security guard was really nice and took our photos before we got out. How good is that. We talked with him for a while, and he even posed for a photo with Kevin. So we didn’t walk away grumpy that we couldn’t enjoy the special people’s pool anymore.
Next morning we went to breakfast. Just when finishing, this little bird comes in and crashes on the table in front of me. We wasn’t unconscious at first, but he didn’t look good at all.
Kevin didn’t want it to pass out and fall off the table.. Poor little guy!
Any time I’ve seen this happen it usually takes 15-20 minutes for them to come good again. We waited and waited with the little bird. Nothing was happening. He/she was alive though.
We had made plans to do “canyoning” today and needed to get on our bikes as they were waiting on us. So we tucked the bird in a place on the property to protect it from cats until it woke up. I hope it did.
Back to our little cabin, we need to pack for the day and ride about 60 km to the site for canyoning.
I have never been canyoning before. Kevin organized this and I didn’t really ask what it meant. I thought I knew or imagined canyoning would simply be a crazy hike through a canyon.
The place we went has an odd name.. Kevin, are you sure this is where we go for adventure??
I didn’t imagine canyoning involved these straps. When the straps show up, I get nervous.
They start us off on this practice run, a bit of rope training. That wasn’t so bad.
Then we climb up to this bridge, walk across, Kevin has a huge smile because there is a huge hole in it! I’m not liking it and for some reason I think he enjoys seeing me scared. 😉
Kevin goes through first.
He survived, so hopefully that means I can do it too..
And… I’m wondering why is this called ‘canyoning’?? It is nothing like I imagined today was about.. which was hiking through the jungle tracks and crawling over and around big rocks. I like surprises, but I should have asked more questions..
And.. where is the bottom? I hear Kevin yelling up but I can’t see him.
That look is not a smile, it’s a ‘please don’t drop me’ face..
Those 2 little yellow dots below are us. The only way I found the bottom in the photo was to crop and zoom, it was so far down. They not only dropped us into a canyon, but smack dab in to a waterfall.. very cool! Fears are gone now…
I have to admit that was really fun.. Next up, since we are very wet, we go with the water fall!
It goes on and on.. I have never done this before but I really like it!
They save another long waterfall for last.
This is my hanging on a string next to a waterfall pose..
Kevin stops for a snap and I love the fairy-like bug on the lens who poses with him..
Finally at the bottom.. happy days.. Can we keep the hats? ;-)))